SCA joined Optum in 2017. We were a publicly held company, one of the larger ambulatory surgery management companies and doing really well. But when we looked towards the future, we saw that we were going to need deeper partnerships with primary care physicians and health plan payers to really fulfill our mission of reducing the total cost of care in America. So as we looked at alternatives and options out there, OptumCare stood out, one, cause of its focus on the patient, two, because of the deep connection with physicians, and then three, because it really matched our values.
Leading up to the acquisition by Optum, USMD was really, had never attained its goal of being relevant in the Dallas-Fort Worth market. And it was an entity that realized it could not compete with the hospital systems and grow. What happened when Optum acquired us is we were actually able to see a pathway towards growth to success.
MedExpress joined Optum in April of 2015, after a three-year courtship, and we were absolutely thrilled. We grew continuously for several years, and now we operate in 19 states with over 250 locations.
We're really excited about how SCA has been able to partner with our CDO partners. One of the earliest partnerships that we did was with Monarch in Orange County, where we had multiple surgery centers that we co-invested in with Monarch, along with our surgeon partners. We also brought in Memorial Care, so that it was ended up being a four-way partnership that was mutually beneficial. So a lot of great activity from California to Colorado, to New Jersey, and lots more in the works.
When 2017, we started a regular meetings with surgical care affiliates, representatives in Dallas-Fort Worth, and later the MedExpress, when they came into Dallas-Fort Worth, and the team at Optum helped us on evaluating our lab to become a reference lab for the market, our pathology lab, our imaging facilities, and also helped us in deciding which specialties to recruit.
Since joining Optum, we've forged terrific relationships in areas of overlap with our CDO siblings. For example, with WellMed, we serve as a site of service for their patients to come to us instead of going to the ED. With that, we've been able to save WellMed millions of dollars by sending their patients to us, where they high-quality appropriate care for their needs on weekends and in evening hours. We've also been working very closely with Reliant on ED diversion efforts. We're looking forward to doing more and more of those with our CDO siblings, and we're constantly in talks with them to figure out what we can do together. HEDIS and gap closures, infusion services, et cetera.
When I think about healthcare right now in the United States, 90% of our population have health insurance, except so many more actually can't afford to receive the care when they need it, despite having health insurance. I think what Optum and SCA and our specialists bring is a focus on how do we provide value to our patients? How do we partner with innovative health systems, health plans, and doctors, and figure out ways to provide care that is at the right time, the right place, the right price point, to prevent this rapid cost inflation.
The physicians I know that get the OptumCare ecosystem are excited, that they feel like finally, they're in a position to actually turn this thing around.